“sumptuous and truly authentic Italian food . The menu - which includes pretty much every Italian dish you could think of - offers hearty classic Italian
© Tom Baker
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Tue Oct 18 2011
Basement spaces can be a difficult proposition for a restaurant designer. A tricksy, awkward room layout, echoing acoustics and austere black and smoked glass fittings all conspire to create a rather gloomy sense of oppression at Il Baretto.
Service too was off-kilter, veering from obsequious to matey, with a constant undertow of upselling: buy bottled water, buy bread, buy wine, buy another starter…
On the other hand, we were perfectly happy with our shared starter, a dazzlingly pretty broad bean and rocket salad topped with razor-thin slices of tart, feisty pecorino cheese. And we wanted to leave space for our primo – beautifully al dente paccheri smothered in a dense ’nduja sauce and grated smoked ricotta, its rustic smokiness setting off to perfection the spiciness of the soft Calabrian sausage and tomato sauce. Grilled lamb chops, piled high and deliciously moist, worked well as a follow-up, particularly when they were teamed with foot-long matchsticks of deep-fried courgettes coated in barely-there batter, and a bowl of delicate, glistening green beans.
Yes, the food is great, but it seems overpriced, and the service and decor are wide of the mark. Il Baretto feels like it’s in danger of becoming an irrelevant haunt for the local ladies who lunch.
Il Baretto 43 Blandford Street
- Venue phone:
020 7486 7340
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Fri; 12.30-4pm Sat, Sun. Dinner served 6-10.30pm Mon-Fri; 6.30-10pm Sat, Sun
Tube: Baker Street tube
Main courses £14.50-£31.50
- 43 Blandford Street
- 020 7486 7340
- 43 Blandford Street
- Il Baretto
Average User Rating
2.6 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:5
Friends booked the table and were given a time slot. The food was practically thrown at us. Portions were tiny and prices very high. The service was very poor and waiters couldn't answer basic questions about the food. Then the manager came and told us we had to vacate the table as our time was up. I certainly wouldn't go there again
We were made to wait for 40minutes, weren't offered anything to drink, and when asked for the manager, was told that he would come....he didn't! Food was nice, but nothing special, portions tiny, and prices high. Service terrible. Don't think I'll go again, too many better italians in london.
Superb! Spent nearly 2 and a half hours here enjoying the food and atmosphere on Sunday afternoon. Food was brilliant! Wine recommendation was spot on! Yes its not cheap but i'd happily pay the same again to get the same again! Well done. Next time we're in London well be back
What a fantastic place to have a dinner with my family Friendly staff and food very good and very Italian. Definitely worth it
I don't really see what the other reviewers are complaining about. Just got back from a meal here, and I thought it was terrific. We only had pizzas and bottled water, but there was no pressure from the staff for us to eat/drink more. And the pizzas were the best I've had in London; having lived here for 24 years, that's saying a lot. Atmosphere was buzzy and upmarket, and it felt like being in a nice restaurant in Italy. Looking forward to going back soon.
I've been here twice. I want to like it because it's close to home. The food is decent, if very expensive for quality and for quantity. The setting is cramped, but passably stylish. But the service is just atrocious. They definitely have enough staff who manage to bump into your chair or table every few minutes. But it's their attitude that is horrendous, as if they're too busy to care. Well, here's one customer they don't have to care about anymore.
Finally tried this local spot in Marylebone. I think my sentiments to follow are much the same as the other comments... From the outside, it looks like a cute wine bar - with stools in the window and a cozy atmosphere. That feel pretty much stops there as you're whisked downstairs to the very busy and very loud downstairs dining area. This place would fit right in in New York’s Meat Packing district with its unable-to-make-conversation-with-the-person-sitting-across-from-you loudness, the amount of ���fake” everything you see walking through the door, the countless numbers of table’s checks that you know are going on corporate cards, and the clear absence of any locals (b/c we should know better!). Enter the menus – starting with the wine menu: for a place being marketed as a "wine bar," their selection of wines by the glass is not only limited but extremely expensive. One would think they would at least offer tasting portions or perhaps even a flight. But no. The rest of the menu offered much of the same over-indulgence, under-performance. We started with the Black ink tagliolini with crab meat & courgette (though they must have been out of courgette replacing with a large helping of cherry tomatoes). We then had the Stuffed rabbit with black olives & potatoes, & Scallops & prawns sautéed with fresh peas. The rabbit dish was pleasantly delicious, though a bit dry – saved slightly by the sauce. The scallop and prawn dish was a mess. The prawns were of the peel-and-eat variety, heads and all, not something one wants to deal with when eating a nice dinner out. Not to mention the fact that once you tackled the shell, they were pitifully dry inside. 3 tiny prawns and 3 tiny scallops later, it left me wanting more, only b/c I was still hungry and just paid almost 30 quid for a snack. Oh and just a note: the “fresh peas” were in the form of a green smear on the plate… As mentioned already, portions in both main dishes were quite small and for the prices you pay, they either need to load up your plate or serve outstanding food, neither of which were the case. Overall, this was an unnecessarily expensive night out in a neighborhood that has so many wonderful spots to eat, at half the price. We will not be going back, nor recommending it to anyone we know and like.